Everyone around you is using it, understanding it, and enjoying it. They giggle and say words like hashtag and tweet and all you hear is blah blah blah. So you look at the tweet and all you see is @someone#ImSoConfused#WhatIsThisEvenFor.
It’s Twitter this, and Twitter that and you have no idea what everyone is talking about.
Do you feel alone? It’s okay. Neon Brand is here to help. As Michael Jackson said, “You are not alone.”
High-tech bandwagons roll fast, and those left behind sometimes feel like they’re the only ones not getting it. But if you sit and wait for the dust to settle you’ll see that other people are out there who are just as lost as you.
Simply put, Twitter is a tool that connects you to the latest stories, opinions, and happenings in the world around you. If there is something in the world you care about (and we hope there is at least one thing), you can choose to “follow”, or subscribe, to it.
If you like, you can sit back and see what like-minded people have to say. Or if you’re feeling chatty, you can join conversations around the world. The choice is yours.
After you make your account and find some friends, musicians, and brands – whatever – to follow, you’re kind of left on your own. Twitter does not provide a tutorial to orient the new Tweeter. So let’s go over some basics to get you at least headed in the right direction.
One of the first things you will notice is that Twitter has a strange lingo. It can be kind of annoying at first like some whole social network of inside jokes. Some tweets look like they’re meant to be cracked more than read. But here are a few common vocabularies you will see all over the place:
- Retweet (RT) – this is when you take a tweet from another user and post it yourself. This crediting the source, so that all of your followers can see the tweet.
- Trending Topics (TTs) – Trending Topics are topics that are making a big splash on Twitter right now. It’s the latest and greatest.
- Hashtag (#) – You’ll see these little guys not only in tweets, but at the bottom right corner of your TV screen. Beginning a word with a ‘#’ will create what is called a hashtag. A hashtag makes a certain word easily searchable. For example, if Twitter existed during the OJ Simpson trial, and someone tweeted OJ did it. #OJSimpson, the tweet would be automatically filed with all other tweets with that same hashtag. Use these sparingly though, and never use more than two in your tweet.
With a very basic understanding of Twitter lingo, it’s now time for your first tweet. Omagyash, what are you going to say?
The answer? Whatever you want about anything you want. Text or type 140 characters or less and let’er rip.
Oh! And one more thing. When you’re out there getting your tweet on, use ‘@’ followed by a username (with no spaces) in your tweet to send a mention directly to the user you choose. It’s similar to tagging someone by name in a Facebook post.
Now, these are just the basics, and only a few of them. If you really want to learn how to use Twitter, use it. Just get on there and see what other people are doing. You’ll catch on soon enough.